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The Impact of Office Machinery and Computer Capital on the Demand for Heterogeneous Labour


  • Falk, Martin

    () (WIFO - Austrian Institute of Economic Research)

  • Koebel, Bertrand

    () (Louis Pasteur University Strasbourg)


We study the impact of office and computing machinery (OCM) on the demands for workers with different educational levels. The empirical analysis relies on a system of demand equations that nests the translog, the generalised Leontief and the normalised quadratic specifications. Using panel data on 35 German industries, we find little evidence for a robust substitutability relationship between unskilled workers and OCM capital in manufacturing industries. In the non-manufacturing sector, however, we find some evidence for substitutability between OCM capital and unskilled workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Falk, Martin & Koebel, Bertrand, 2003. "The Impact of Office Machinery and Computer Capital on the Demand for Heterogeneous Labour," IZA Discussion Papers 873, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp873

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    Cited by:

    1. Piva, Mariacristina & Santarelli, Enrico & Vivarelli, Marco, 2005. "The skill bias effect of technological and organisational change: Evidence and policy implications," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 141-157, March.
    2. Lichter, Andreas & Peichl, Andreas & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2015. "The own-wage elasticity of labor demand: A meta-regression analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 94-119.
    3. Manuel A. Hidalgo Pérez & Jesús Rodríguez López & José Mª O.Kean Alonso, 2008. "Labor demand and information technologies: evidence for Spain, 1980-2005," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2008/13, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
    4. Jean-Pascal Guironnet, 2008. "The Impact of Surplus Schooling on Earnings: Some Additional Findings II," Working Papers 08-04, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC).
    5. repec:zbw:imbwps:90 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Inés P. Murillo, 2011. "Human capital obsolescence: some evidence for Spain," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 32(4), pages 426-445, July.
    7. Ines P. Murillo, 2006. "Returns to Education and Human Capital Depreciation in Spain," ERSA conference papers ersa06p60, European Regional Science Association.
    8. Andre Jungmittag & Paul Welfens, 2014. "Telecommunications dynamics, output and employment," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 179-195, February.
    9. O'Mahony, Mary & Robinson, Catherine & Vecchi, Michela, 2008. "The impact of ICT on the demand for skilled labour: A cross-country comparison," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 1435-1450, December.
    10. Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, 2007. "Offshoring, Outsourcing, and Production Relocation—Labor-Market Effects in the OECD Countries and Developing Asia," Working Paper Series WP07-2, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    11. Peichl, Andreas & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2012. "Accounting for labor demand effects in structural labor supply models," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 129-138.
    12. Marco Vivarelli, 2013. "Technology, Employment and Skills: An Interpretative Framework," Eurasian Business Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 3(1), pages 66-89, June.
    13. Rebecca Riley, 2013. "Modelling Demand for Low Skilled/Low Paid Labour: Exploring the Employment Trade-Offs of a Living Wage," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 404, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    14. Bernd Görzig & Martin Gornig & Laurence Nayman, 2012. "Productivity Transitions in Large Mature Economies: France, Germany and the UK," Chapters,in: Industrial Productivity in Europe, chapter 4 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    15. Nathalie Chusseau & Michel Dumont, 2012. "Growing Income Inequalities in Advanced," Working Papers hal-00993359, HAL.
    16. Koeniger, Winfried & Leonardi, Marco, 2006. "Capital Deepening and Wage Differentials: Germany vs. US," IZA Discussion Papers 2065, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Hanan Nazier, 2017. "Estimating Labor Demand Elasticities and Elasticities of Substitution in Egyptian Manufacturing Sector: A Firm Level Static Analysis," Working Papers 1158, Economic Research Forum, revised 11 2017.

    More about this item


    capital-skill complementarity; skill-biased technological change;

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes


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